How Extremism, An Ideological ‘Disease’ Can Be Prevented – Don 

By Abdulkareem Haruna

The Boko Haram insurgency has in the last 13 years caused mass destruction to lives and properties. The senseless war has equally plunged millions of people who survived the perpetrators’ hostility to suffer displacement, hunger, and disease. 

Boko Haram is an ideological warfare that can only be tackled by counter ideology and alternative narratives, a University Don, and renowned Islamic Scholar, Dr. Mansur Isa has said. 

Dr. Isa, a lecturer from Bayero University Kano, was speaking on the subject of “alternative narratives” to terrorist claims, during an ongoing three days workshop organized by a Nigerian non-governmental, Dar Al-Andalus Center (DAAC).

The three days workshop was themed “Sharia Intelligence, Constructive Alternative Narratives, and the Role of Journalism in the Prevention of Extremism and violence”. 

Taking a second-day lead paper, Dr. Isa, an author of many Islamic kinds of literature, said “Extremism is an ideological disease, which can only be diagnosed and treated by alternative narratives to the narratives that feed the extremists’ ideological thoughts.”

Dr. Isa said while providing solutions to the diagnosed menace of the faulty Jihadism of extremism, he said society should through the media try to immunize the young ones from being infected by the ext mist ideology. 

He said traditional rulers, community, and religious leaders also have a greater role to play in ensuring this immunity issue. 

Dr. Isa espoused that “the main narratives of these extremist groups are based on five themes, which are Takfir, conventional education, civil service, democracy, and Jihad”. 

He said the ideologues of extremist groups cite certain Qur’anic verses and misinterpret them as references in support of their narratives on the concept of Jihad.

For example, he cited Quran Chapter 6 verse 1 which reads that “O you who have believed! Do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves [only] because you believe in Allah, your Lord. If you have come out for jihad in My cause and seeking means to My approval, [take them not as friends)]…” 

He informed participants at the workshop the Jihadists usually divide the world into two groups – 

“Muslims and non-Muslims”. 

He said for the extremists “the only relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is that of constant warfare until every

non-believer accepts Islam-on is killed.”

Dr. Mansur Isa said “journalists hold a greater stake in the task of neutralizing the faulty narratives of the violent extremists because they hold the most powerful medium of information dissemination. 

“Journalists”, he said, should also join the true Jihad by propagating true and unbiased information about issues in the society in such a manner that it will benefit the society.”

The don said combating extremism should start from home by targeting our children who are usually vulnerable to negative teachings, especially from peers, environment, and undue exposure to information on the internet. 

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